Then I got distracted.
Reading the Hatchet article whose headline insinuates that the mean height for intelligent people is decreasing I got trapped in a quote from GW professor Margaret Soltan
Margaret Soltan, an English professor who blogs on higher education, said the University is failing to attract, or failing to keep, the best students who apply to GW."If GW has (the money), it should certainly spend like a drunken sailor on scholarships for our best students," Soltan said.I'm not even sure that the metaphor is necessarily appropriate (doesn't a drunken sailor spend money foolishly? I don't think it is that they're willing to spend. I think it's that they do so frivolously) but it remains AWESOME (like cranes (no duh)). Hoping to continue in having my mind blown by slightly askew analogies I went to her blog University Diaries. Conclusion: Margaret Soltan. You're my jam.
The site slaps you in the face with a) a horrifyingly abrasive layout b) a lot of DeLillo mentions and c) a picture of James Joyce. Why? Not sure. But it rules.
While I have never actually met Soltan I knew of her due to our shared love of Don DeLillo (Woman loves DeLillo) but I didn't know she was unspeakably cool. Despite the hilarious amount of content on the site it is all really, really strong. It rapidly jumps between insightful, vicious, and hilarious. It's the Wonkette of acablogging (that is most likely not a real term). The site essentially serves as a critique on university life, her personal life, and teaching. It flows between commentary on things occurring at other schools and trends she has spotted at GW (like, for instance the fact that we're getting dumber by the day). It actually serves as a really interesting and unique commentary on higher education from a person who is uniquely qualified to give one. Its strength seems to be that it can be read for the humor, the commentary on upper education, or for the killer book recommendations. The best part (and that part that I'm scared to death about should she find this error ridden post) is the Gary Lutz tinged attack on syntax that is Scathing Online Schoolmarm. In SOS Soltan essentially tells journalists that they cannot write, inserting commentary and grammar advice (again with the stab your eyes out bad aesthetic) in articles from recent from papers.
Really, what it is is that Soltan is about 500X smarter than me and her blog is way better than random acts of cupcake... I'm just not sure about her use of drunken sailor.